Third-party and independent senators in the United States

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Third-party and independent senators in the United States have been rare during the country's existence. Since 1856, the United States has had two major political parties: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The list below includes anyone who, while holding office as a U.S. Senator since the beginning of the Reconstruction era, was affiliated with a party that is neither the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Linked below are similar lists of U.S. Representatives, governors, and state legislators.

List of third-party and independent United States senators[edit]

Senator Name State Electoral history Time in office
Waitman T. Willey - Brady-Handy.jpg Waitman T. Willey Virginia Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1861 1861–1863
JCarlile.jpg John S. Carlile Virginia Elected as a Unionist in 1861 1861–1865
Hon. Garrett Davis, Ky - NARA - 528757.jpg Garrett Davis Kentucky Elected as a Unionist in 1861, switched to Democratic by 1867 1861–1872
RobWilson-Miss.jpg Robert Wilson Missouri Appointed as an Unconditional Unionist in 1862 1862–1863
John B. Henderson - Brady-Handy.jpg John B. Henderson Missouri Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1862, became a Republican by 1865 1862–1869
Thomas Holliday Hicks - photo portrait standing.jpg Thomas Holliday Hicks Maryland Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1862 1862–1865
Lemuel Jackson Bowden.jpg Lemuel J. Bowden Virginia Elected as a Unionist in 1863 1863–1864
Reverdy Johnson.jpg Reverdy Johnson Maryland Elected as a Unionist in 1863, switched to Democratic by 1865 1863–1868
Peter G. Van Winkle - Brady-Handy.jpg Peter G. Van Winkle West Virginia Elected as a Unionist in 1863, became a Republican by 1867 1863–1869
BGratzBrown.png Benjamin Gratz Brown Missouri Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1863, became a Republican by 1865 1863–1867
John A J Creswell Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.tif John Creswell Maryland Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1864 1865–1867
JSFowler.jpg Joseph S. Fowler Tennessee Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1866, became a Republican by 1867 1866–1871
Senator David T. Patterson.jpg David T. Patterson Tennessee Elected as a Unionist in 1866, became a Republican by 1867 1866–1869
Charles Sumner 1855 BPL-crop.jpg Charles Sumner Massachusetts Elected as Free Soil Democratic in 1851, became a Republican in 1855, then became a Liberal Republican in 1872 1851–1874
Morgan C. Hamilton - Brady-Handy.jpg Morgan C. Hamilton Texas Switched from Republican to Liberal Republican in 1872, switched back to Republican in 1875 1870–1877
Orris S. Ferry - Brady-Handy.jpg Orris S. Ferry Connecticut Elected as a Liberal Republican in 1872 1867–1875
Newton Booth - Brady-Handy.jpg Newton Booth California Elected as an Anti-Monopolist, served as an Ind. Republican 1875–1881
DDavis.jpg David Davis Illinois Elected as an Independent 1877–1883
William Mahone.jpg William Mahone Virginia Elected as a Readjuster 1881–1887
Harrison H. Riddleberger - Brady-Handy.jpg Harrison H. Riddleberger Virginia Elected as a Readjuster 1883–1889
William A. Peffer.jpg William A. Peffer Kansas Elected as a Populist 1891–1897
Marion Butler.jpg Marion Butler North Carolina Elected as a Populist 1895–1901
James Henderson Kyle.jpg James H. Kyle South Dakota Elected as a Populist 1891–1901
ALLEN, William Vincent.jpg William V. Allen Nebraska Elected as a Populist 1893–1901
William M. Stewart - Brady-Handy.jpg William Morris Stewart Nevada Switched from Republican to Silver in 1893, then back to Republican in 1901 1887–1905
Senator John P Jones as a Member of the 55th US Congress.jpg John P. Jones Nevada Switched from Republican to Silver in 1895, then back to Republican in 1901 1873–1903
Lee Mantle U.S. Senator from Montana (1895) by James Presley Ball (Detail).jpg Lee Mantle Montana Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1895–1899
RichardFPettigrew.jpg Richard F. Pettigrew South Dakota Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1889–1901
Frank Jenne Cannon.jpg Frank J. Cannon Utah Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1896–1899
Freddubois.jpg Fred Dubois Idaho Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1891–1897
Henry Moore Teller.png Henry Moore Teller Colorado Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896, then to Democratic in 1903 1876–1909
Senator William A. Harris as a Member of the 55th US Congress.jpeg William Alexander Harris Kansas Elected as a Populist 1897–1903
Henry Heitfeld (senator).jpg Henry Heitfeld Idaho Elected as a Populist 1897–1903
Joseph M. Dixon.jpg Joseph M. Dixon Montana Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1912 1907–1913
MilesPoindexter.jpg Miles Poindexter Washington Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1912, switched back to Republican in 1915 1911–1923
Sen. Henrik Shipstead LCCN2016848354 (cropped).jpg Henrik Shipstead Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor, switched to Republican in 1940 1923–1947
MagnusJohnson.jpg Magnus Johnson Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1923–1925
RMLaFolletteJr.jpg Robert M. La Follette Wisconsin Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1934, then back to Republican in 1946 1925–1947
Elmer Austin Benson.jpg Elmer Austin Benson Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1935–1936
GeorgeWNorris.jpg George W. Norris Nebraska Switched from Republican to Independent in 1936 1913–1943
ErnestLundeen.jpg Ernest Lundeen Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1937–1940
John E. Miller.jpg John E. Miller Arkansas Elected as an Independent, served as Democratic 1937–1941
Wayne Morse.jpg Wayne Morse Oregon Switched from Republican to Independent in 1953, then to Democratic in 1955. 1945–1969
Hbyrdjr.jpg Harry F. Byrd Jr. Virginia Switched from Democratic to Independent in 1970 1965–1983
JamesLBuckley.jpg James L. Buckley New York Elected as a Conservative, lost re-election as a Republican in 1976 1971–1977
Robert C Smith.jpg Bob Smith New Hampshire Switched from Republican to Independent in 1999 but switched back to Republican in 2000 1990–2003
JeffordsJim(I-VT).jpg Jim Jeffords Vermont Switched from Republican to Independent in 2001 1989–2007
Dean Barkley.jpg Dean Barkley Minnesota Appointed for Independence Party of Minnesota 2002–2003
Bernie Sanders.jpg Bernie Sanders Vermont Elected as an Independent, switched to Democratic in 2015 but switched again back to Independent in 2016[1] 2007–Present
Joe Lieberman official portrait 2 (cropped 2).jpg Joe Lieberman Connecticut Re-elected on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket after losing the 2006 Democratic nomination. 1989–2013
Angus King, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg Angus King Maine Elected as an Independent 2013–Present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bernie Sanders Won't Become a Democrat, Will Run as an Independent in 2018". Retrieved 26 October 2017.